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The World Tourism Day that falls on the 27th of September every year is celebrated throughout the world to promote global tourism and bring prosperity to the nations, especially those whose economies are much dependent on tourism.

However, the WTO (World Tourism Organization) that promotes world tourism through various ways strongly believes that the promotion of global tourism may not necessarily mean haphazard and crude selling of the various destinations and attractions across the world. The growth of global tourism has to be equitable and it must come with responsibility. Maybe, that’s why the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change”.

Climate change has become a big issue, rightfully so, with concerns being raised about the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The warnings of the climate system are and ought to be taken seriously as with rising sea levels the very existence of the various nations–particularly those by sea–is at a great risk.

In fact, many low lying coastal areas are in the danger of being totally wiped out by the encroaching seas, and natural occurrences such as the typhoons are becoming deadlier and more frequent with the warming of the climate system.

The environmental and economic risks of the magnitude of the climate change projected for the 21st century is considerable. Our lifestyles, economics, health and social being–are all affected by climate change. Even though the consequences of climate change will vary on a regional basis, all nations and economic sectors will have to contend with the challenges of climate change through adaptation and mitigation.

Tourism is no exception and in the decades ahead, climate change will become an increasingly important issue affecting tourism development and management. So, responsible tourism is the need of the hour. The various nations promoting tourism aggressively need to be more sensitive to this issue and not be just a spectator to the likely environmental catastrophes that lurk around the corner waiting to create havoc and destructions on a large scale, courtesy climate change and global warming.

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